China plans substantial increase in US LNG imports

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An LNG ship docks at the port of Zhoushan in Zhejiang province. [Photo by Yao Feng/for China Daily]

China is expected to attract more international energy suppliers with its growing demand for natural gas to set a record this year as the domestic economy emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic faster than expected and the government is on the right track. way to achieve its long-term carbon goal. neutrality goals, analysts said.

Their comments came after Chinese President Xi Jinping told US President Joe Biden at a virtual conference on Tuesday that China and the United States should increase cooperation on natural gas and new energy, and the two countries , as well as the international community, should also maintain the security and stability of global industrial and energy supply chains.

According to BloombergNEF, the United States has overtaken Qatar to become the second largest supplier of liquefied natural gas to China so far this year, only after Australia, and the trend is expected to increase further in the coming years as Chinese demand for clean energy such as LNG is increasing.

Li Ziyue, analyst at BloombergNEF, said U.S. LNG shipments to China in the first three quarters more than tripled year-over-year, driven by strong demand for gas in China in due to economic recovery and emission control measures.

“China is expected to see more LNG imports from the United States, as at least five Chinese companies are in advanced talks to secure long-term LNG supplies from American exporters,” Li said.

She said the United States was gaining more market share, but continued to catch up with Australia, which exported an additional 17 million tonnes of LNG to China in the first three quarters.

According to customs statistics, China imported 5.4 million tonnes of LNG from the United States from January to August, up 375% year-on-year.

Major Chinese energy companies, including China National Petroleum Corp, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, and China National Offshore Oil Corp, are all stepping up their LNG imports from the United States.

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec and the world’s largest refiner by volume, recently signed a 20-year LNG deal with US exporter Venture Global LNG, the largest LNG trade deal in terms of volume between the two parties. It will supply 4 million tonnes of LNG each year. Sinopec’s commercial arm, Unipec, will also purchase 3.8 million tonnes of LNG at Venture Global’s facility at Calcasieu Pass.

China National Petroleum Corp, the country’s largest oil and gas company, recently received LNG shipments from the United States at the Rudong terminal in Jiangsu, where nearly 100 million cubic meters of natural gas will be delivered to the regions. of the Yangtze River Delta to ensure an adequate supply of gas.

As part of the Phase 1 China-U.S. Trade deal, which covers increased purchases of U.S. energy products by China, China is to increase its energy imports from the United States. , including LNG, crude oil, refined products and coal, by $ 52.4 billion over two years. in addition to the 2017 benchmark.

The deal is a strong demonstration that China is keeping its promises, as it also comes as China’s demand for clean energy rises amid the country’s shift from fossil fuels to green energy, Gao Lingyun said. , expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In Beijing.

In addition to state-owned enterprises, private oil companies like ENN Natural Gas Co Ltd and Foran Gas Group Co Ltd are also trying to secure long-term liquefied natural gas supplies.

Large US oil company ConocoPhillips said it was exploring opportunities to supply more LNG from its current and future projects as demand for LNG increases.

Nearly 10 million tonnes per year of its global LNG production is shipped to China to support the country’s clean energy transformation goals.

“We have helped expand the Asia-Pacific LNG market as well as China’s domestic natural gas market by delivering LNG to China in collaboration with our partners,” said Helen Currie, Chief Economist of ConocoPhillips.

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